Cherry, Date Granola

I started this post with plans to tell you about my breakfast routine. But, to be honest, as much as I love my oatmeal with raspberries, I’m not actually interested in my breakfast routine so I can’t image anyone else is.

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What I am interested in is this granola and you should be too. It’s a touch salty, a touch sweet, and perfectly crunchy. It’s packed with nuts and seeds and a little bit of fruit. Even though the batch this recipe produces is so large that I’ve been giving it away all week in order to reclaim our tupperware, when I run out I hope to make it again.

To make it I drew on the collective wisdom of the blogosphere, but right now I have what I actually did written on a post-note. This is not the most reliable recipe storage method, although it is often my method of choice. To show my faith that I am going to want to make this for years to come, I’m moving the recipe to this site where it will less easily end up in the trash or stuck to the bottom of my shoe. Here it is:

Cherry, Date Granola: 

Adapted from Orangette

– 3 cups oats

– 1 cup pepitas

– 1 cup salted, roasted sunflower seeds

– 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

– 1 cup walnuts

– 1/4 cup flax meal

– 1/2 cup brown sugar

– 3/4 cup maple syrup

– 1/2 cup olive oil

– 1 cup mejdool dates

– 1 cup sour cherries

* Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

* Mix together all the dry ingredients.

* Stir the maple syrup and olive oil into the dry ingredients until they all look slightly damp.

* Spread on a baking sheet and put in oven.

* Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the granola has turned a deeper shade of brown. About a half hour in to the baking, begin to toss it with a spatula every 5 or 10 minutes so it doesn’t burn.

* As it bakes chop mejdool dates and sour cherries into small pieces. The dates will be pretty gummy, do not worry.

* Remove granola from oven and allow to cool.

* When granola is cool stir in cherries and dates. This is not very clumpy granola when it comes out of the oven, but the stickiness of the dates creates clumps. I found that stirring in the cherries and dates with my hands worked best because you could really distribute them.

* Store in freezer.

Note: This is not very fruity granola. If you prefer more fruit in your granola you could easily double the number of cherries and dates. 

Chestnut Flour Tart

I first read about this tart this summer in an old issue of Saveur that I grabbed off a coffee table at Noah’s parent’s house in Martha’s Vineyard as we decamped for the beach one morning. It was part of a spread about travelling in Corsica, which made me want to book my tickets immediately. Instead I earmarked the page and then, of course, left the magazine a full ferry ride away not to be seen again until next summer.

Luckily it’s 2013 and all recipes are online so when I finally got around to making it was not next summer but a few days after Christmas. Instead of eating it on an island beach, as intended by its origin story and my discovery of it, we ate it in the Adirondack mountains after a hike through the snow and with a side of whisky and tea.

Flavor-wise this seemed appropriate. This tart, which is nutty and citrusy, comes close to tasting like a fruit cake, without being overly heavy, overly sweet, or overly gross. (I do not like fruit cake.)

When it comes out of the oven this tart is pretty crumbly but it sets as it cools. I actually think it tastes better on days two and three when it becomes almost like a nutty short-bread biscuit. It also travels well as long as you keep it on its pan.

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The original recipe calls for mixing blanched almonds in to the batter, but a childhood of popping almonds out of their skin for my mother’s Christmas cookies has made me loath to ever blanch another almond so I skipped it. To be honest, I find it tough to imagine how this tart would hold together if it had whole almonds to crumble around so I’m glad I left them out.

Happy New Year!

Chestnut Flour Tart: (ever so slightly adapted from May 2012 Saveur

Note: It took me a while to find chestnut flour. I found it at the second Whole Foods I checked though so it’s not impossible. One of the things that is nice about chestnut flour, as opposed to other nut flours, is how smooth it is. You don’t end up with a grainy cake despite the crumbles. 

– 12 tablespoons unsalted butter

– 1 cup sugar

– 1/2 cup milk

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– Zest from 1/2 an orange

– 2 cups chestnut flour

– 1/ 4 cup sliced almonds

* Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

* Melt butter (saving butter wrappers to grease pan).

* Grease 10 inch pan and set aside.

* Mix melted butter, sugar, milk, vanilla, and orange zest together until smooth.

* Slowly add two cups of chestnut flour to butter/sugar mixture until you have a smooth, thick batter.

* Spread batter on buttered pan and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

* Bake until browned and set. In my oven this took closer to 35 minutes than the 25 the original recipe called for. It can be difficult to tell when the cake is set because the batter is so thick to start with. I recommend checking on it after 25 minutes but waiting to take it out of the oven until the top of the cake has changed to a warmer shade of brown than the batter and the edges look pretty dark.